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The Timing of the School-to-Permanent Work Transition: a Comparison across Ten European Countries

By Alessandra Righi and Dario Sciulli


The school-to-work transition is a turbulent period of youth, with possible consequences on the social and working conditions of individuals. The alternative status of employment during the transition possibly affect the transition probabilities. On the one side, the larger use of temporary contracts has made entry in the labour market easier, but has also made longer and, sometimes, harder the path toward a stable job. On the other side, periods of no work possibly deteriorate skills, while vocational experiences possibly avoid the obsolescence of skills. This paper applies discrete time duration models to ECHP micro information to investigate both the role of individual characteristics and, overall, of alternative origin labour market status in favoring the school-to-permanent work transition, focusing on ten European countries. The timing of the transition and the allocation of time to alternative labour market status differ among countries. Vocational training experience increases the hazard rate. Temporary contracts positively operate in Southern countries, where unemployment and inactivity prevail among school-leavers. On the contrary, where temporary jobs are widely used they reduce the hazard rate, favoring the establishment of a strong separating equilibrium, at least in the short-term. However, individuals with at least one temporary job or vocational training period show a greater duration dependence parameter, indicating their role in reducing the stigma effect of no permanent employment transition, duration model, unobserved heterogeneity

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